Instacart is hiring 300,000 workers to meet demand as grocery delivery orders increase while America is in social distancing mode. What was once a luxury is now a necessity for those who cannot venture into grocery stores amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s network crashed Sunday to underscore this fact.
The on-demand grocery start-up made the announcement Monday via a statement to its shopper community from Founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta.
“The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart’s history, and we’ve been proud to serve as an essential service for you and the millions of customers relying on you to deliver their groceries and household goods,” Mehta wrote. “Given the continued customer demand we expect over the coming months, we’ll be bringing on an additional 300,000 full-service shoppers to support cities nationwide.”
The company is following in the footsteps of companies like Amazon and Walmart, who both announced they’d be hiring 100,000 workers because of customer demand, KTLA 5 reported.
In his statement, Mehta also said the company would now offer its gig workers increased benefits like sick pay.
“All in-store shoppers nationwide now have access to sick pay, an accrued benefit that can be used as paid time off if you’re absent from work due to illness or injury. Additionally, any full-service or in-store shopper can receive up to 14 days of extended pay if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual mandatory isolation or quarantine,” Mehta continued.
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However, some of the company’s shoppers are concerned about receiving low ratings and denied tips for factors they have no control over. This ultimately impacts their bottom line.
“If I see the offer has a bunch of water, toilet paper, handy wipes, I don’t accept it because customers are rating people low because they can’t get items that were out of stock or are limited supply,” Heidi Carrico, an Instacart worker in Portland Oregon, told CNN.
Despite current challenges, Mehta encouraged Americans to consider his company as “an additional source of income” and thanked his current shoppers for their service.
“We’re incredibly grateful for all the work that each of you do every single day — thank you for your continued dedication,” Mehta concluded.